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Kathy M. Dingus




Those of you who know me know I have a passion for music (an understatement, if I ever heard one). I had long awaited a new release from The Martins, a popular contemporary gospel group, and when I learned of it's availability, I rushed out to purchase it. Upon arriving home I eagerly looked forward to putting it in my CD player and listening to the new songs.

When I opened the plastic covering, impatiently, I might add, and opened the CD, a little insert popped out. I pushed it aside and went to the CD player and put on the CD.

Beautiful music started to pour out of the speakers. I was so happy! I was finally listening to my favorite artists on their long awaited CD!

You're probably wondering what this has to do with the title of my article. Much to my chagrin and shame, my six-year-old son picked up the little inserted flyer, I had so hastily thrown away, and was intently staring at a picture of a little child on its cover.

"Mom," he asked, "what is leprosy?" I immediately asked what he was looking at, and he handed me the little inserted flyer.

It stated that The Martins proudly support American Leprosy Missions which are dedicated to curing children with Leprosy. I took a closer look at the picture of the little child on the cover and my heart wanted to break.

A child afflicted with leprosy was staring back at me from the page. His or her nose, it was hard to tell the gender from the picture, was almost gone, ravaged by disease. Yet, there was a hint of a smile on his or her face and an almost imperceptible twinkle in his or her eye.

Holden was totally captivated by this and I spent a long time explaining to him about leprosy and how children of other nations were not as blessed as he was. I went into great detail about how that child probably lived compared to how he lived and how blessed he was.

Tears actually came to his eyes while I was telling this little child's life story. He was so touched by this child's suffering. That night when Holden went to bed, he knelt beside his bed and prayed for God to please help those little children with leprosy and heal them.

I wasn't present for this prayer of Holden's, but my Mother was. She said it was a very earnest prayer, and Holden prayed it just as if he knew God had answered his prayer right then and there.

Our children have such open, honest hearts with such a great capacity for love. And they pray with same attitude. It didn't matter to Holden that he didn't actually know that little child in the picture.

It didn't matter to him that he probably never would even meet that little child. He felt empathy for him or her. He put himself in his or her shoes and wanted to pray to Jesus about it, so he did.

I must admit with a certain amount of shame that my heart was not so open and honest and loving at that time. I was more interested in listening to my music. That was so much more important than stopping to look at a little flyer, wasn't it? Unfortunately for me, in Jesus' eyes the answer would be, no.

I also admit that I rush around trying to be "Mother" that I forgot to be a Mother. We just get too busy in our lives today. Children have a way of slowing us down and making us see the small, important things in life.

We should all take lessons from our children. They care, they love, and they pray. Their prayers are so heartfelt with no pretense. How do we pray?

Although Holden's prayer was as little as he was, I think in Heaven it was heard with a loud crescendo! Jesus takes the time to hear our prayers, but I think He makes extra special time for the children's prayers.

Recall the text in the Bible when He made extra special time for the children. "Suffer the little children to come unto me." I think He longs for their company. I think He wants to be around little ones who wear their hearts on their sleeves, and whose faces shine with their love for Him!

Oh, if it were only that easy for us "grownups." I wonder who named us "grownups" anyway? We're so stuffy and stiff and proper most of the time.

Do we forget whose "children" we are? We are the child of the King . . . God the Father! We pray to Him daily for intervention in our lives and to help us out of jams we get ourselves into, but do we really expect Him to intervene when we ask?

Do we run to Him and throw our arms around Him, simply happy to be in His presence? Are we glad just to spend quiet time with Him?

Can we become more childlike? I think we had better. One more lesson from the Bible states that unless we become as little children we will not inherit the kingdom of God! I want to inherit the kingdom, but most of all I want to be with Jesus. I want to thank Him for His marvelous, wondrous, saving grace and love for me. I long to feel his arms around me, cradling me as a father cradles his baby. Hmmmmmm, maybe there's hope for us after all.


April is CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH! Here are some little known facts in regards to child abuse in the state of Virginia. If you live in a state other than Virginia, with a little research I'm sure you can determine that child abuse is just as serious a problem as in Virginia.

Did you know that every 50 minutes a child in Virginia is abused or neglected? Every 14 days the abuse or neglect is serious enough to cause the child to die. Last year, 10,423 children were victims of founded cased of child abuse and neglect in Virginia, and 25 of Virginia's children died from injuries attributable to abuse and neglect. 477. of the victims of abuse and neglect were under age 7. Of the children who died, 76% were age two or under.

Please pray for our children, and for the people who parent them. We need to cherish our precious gifts from God.

From one of His children to another, with lots and lots of love.